網誌

我們難以從結果判讀決策的優劣。有時候,好的想法始終失敗,錯判下的決定卻得以成功。這一切看起來都跟直覺唱反調:除了毅力和巧妙的事業構想,運氣和隨機性對一門成功初企事業,也起了相當重要的角色。新型冠狀肺炎病毒帶來的疫情,對我們來說是一個很好的啟示,提醒我們在商業世界裏,充滿著人力不可控制的危機。當前環境充滿變數,南豐作坊的一系列網絡研討會,旨在透過提供策略性指引和實用資訊,支援初企社群渡過難關。

向歷史借鑑,對我們事業和生活有極大幫助。現在,新型冠狀病毒的嚴重性仍然是未知之數。南豐作坊參考過往30年疫情爆發的情況,認為關鍵在於疫情會否帶來結構性經濟問題。肺炎疫情在衰退之初發生,加重對經濟和金融市場的打擊,預期經濟復甦過程,將會比過往的疫情緩慢。要捱得過狂風暴雨,初企應該透過開源節流,為未來12個月的財務審慎性定下優次。

中國/香港投資活動的影響:經濟環境比疫情更重要

從投資角度來看,在疫情爆發期間的結構性經濟環境,是影響財務狀況的主要因素,而非疫情的嚴重程度。單獨來看,疫情的嚴重程度對財務的衝擊是短期的。在大多數情況下,金融市場在疫情首次爆發後的6-12個月內反彈,而財政短缺的原因,大多因為金融市場短暫欠缺流動性。我們借鏡沙士:當時疫情爆發為香港和中國的金融市場帶來顯著破壞;反觀,疫情對亞太地區和美國的估值和交易宗數的影響卻非常有限。不過,結構性經濟下行始終揭示全球經濟危機,在全球的所有指標下,投資活動明顯受挫。
光是冠狀病毒帶來的疫情,難以對金融市場製造長期影響。然而,疫情爆發剛好發生在衰退之初,其影響難免跟結構性經濟挑戰有共通之處。在低迷的環境下,預料企業支出和投資將十分疲弱,初企應準備迎接富挑戰性的募資環境。因此,想要在逆境之下生存,關鍵在於審慎理財,並預留足夠空間等待募資及經濟環境改善。

對香港零售市場的衝擊:影響加劇,復原可能需時更長

零售市場跟金融市場類似,復原需時6-12個月不等,並根據當刻的經濟環境而決定復原的速度。香港在疫情爆發前,已經因為2019年發生的社會運動而進入10年來的首次衰退。此外,當前的肺炎疫情導致本地消費者足不出戶,他們的外遊計劃亦因航班取消而被打亂。在社會運動和疫情雙重打擊下,香港零售業受到顯著影響,當中包括人流下跌、店鋪結業,並需要重新思考零售行業的動態。回首當年香港沙士之後的復甦之路,中國政府推出自由行等多項政策,刺激內地旅客來港,帶動香港經濟快速復原。至於今天的情況,由於缺乏可行的政策支援,加上社會運動拖累社會整體情緒,香港將難以製造動力,推動與沙士當年同樣水平的復原速度。從事零售行業的初企,需要顧及復原時期被拖延,並考慮一系列的紓困方法,當中包括:改善當前的零售事業、發展數碼業務及探索全新市場。

初企的生存之道

我們展望未來,預視當前的環境對初企和企業的三大實際影響:首先,圍繞募資的潛在挑戰,企業需要審慎管理現金流;第二是奢侈品和其他零售行業的溢出效應,衝擊以他們為主要客戶的B2B初企等領域;第三,由於中國內地的工廠暫時關閉,導致生產延遲。以下是一些注意事項:

 

 

公司想要渡過這次疫情爆發所帶來的暴風雨,可循以下3個方向入手:
1)透過財務策劃管理現金流;2)實行削減成本的措施;3)集中優化業務。
未來8-12個月,募資將會是燙手山芋,初企不妨考慮申請貸款,維持公司穩健的營運資本。以下是香港政府為本地公司提供的貸款計劃:

 

 

除了考慮外在的財務支援,在逆境中的公司也適宜採取內部調整措施。以下圖表列出過往其他公司採納過的方向性措施:

 

 

整體來說,逆境下的措施可分為削減成本及優化營運兩大部分。難關之下,需要審慎管理現金流,而這也是一個很好的機會審視公司的各營運部門,包括人員編制、市場行銷和一般行政事宜,並從而尋找調整方向。至於收入和其他營運方面,應設法在過渡時期增加現金收入,比如尋求新的銷售機會,或者是新的方法管理庫存和應付帳款。更重要的是,艱難時期需要靈活變通,不妨投放時間與團隊溝通,凝聚員工士氣與其他措施同樣重要。

渡過逆境

渡過經濟下行和復原時期,是所有事業的必經之路。難關並不易過,但經受難關並再次起步的能力,從來都是建立持久事業的重中之重。前路縱然充滿挑戰,但我們期待與初企社群和夥伴風雨同路。

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Source
Materials used in the article are sourced from Bloomberg, HK Gov, IMAA, NASDAQ, SCMP

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